Lawyer sues su­per­mar­ket for $25 000 over con­tam­i­nated juice

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda

A BULAWAYO lawyer Mr Nd­abez­inhle Maz­ibuko is su­ing a city su­per­mar­ket for $25 000 af­ter he bought fruit juice which was al­legedly con­tam­i­nated with a “nau­se­at­ing and poi­sonous” for­eign body.

Mr Maz­ibuko, through his lawyers, Calder­wood, Bryce Hen­drie and Part­ners, has filed sum­mons at the Bulawayo High Court cit­ing Broad­way Spar Su­per­mar­ket as the de­fen­dant af­ter al­leg­ing that his health was com­pro­mised as a re­sult of drink­ing the fruit juice.

In pa­pers be­fore the court, Mr Maz­ibuko is de­mand­ing $25 000 from the su­per­mar­ket be­ing gen­eral dam­ages for psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma, phys­i­cal pain and loss of ex­pec­ta­tion of life he al­legedly suf­fered as a re­sult of al­leged gross neg­li­gence when he un­sus­pect­ingly con­sumed the bev­er­age.

“On or about the end of June to the be­gin­ning of July 2014, I pur­chased sev­eral va­ri­eties of one litre boxes of Spar branded fruit juice from Broad­way Spar Su­per­mar­ket. Some­time to­wards the end of July, I opened and poured into a glass half the con­tents of one of the mixed berry fruit juice and re­turned the other half to the re­frig­er­a­tor,” said Mr Maz­ibuko.

He said while drink­ing the re­main­ing half of the juice from the box, he felt some­thing was not right.

“As I drank the juice, there was a soft and sticky sub­stance which was semi-solid but too large to be a berry and I im­me­di­ately spat the sub­stance back into the box pack­ag­ing,” said Mr Maz­ibuko.

The lawyer said he be­came sus­pi­cious and on in­ves­ti­gat­ing to as­cer­tain the na­ture of the sub­stance, he dis­cov­ered a dis­gust­ing, pitch-black and greasy “poi­sonous” sub­stance.

The ob­ject in the juice, said Mr Maz­ibuko, re­sem­bled a piece of a de­com­posed skin of a mam­mal with vis­i­ble traces of meat tis­sue.

“The de­fen­dant was grossly neg­li­gent in sell­ing a mixed berry fruit juice con­tain­ing a dis­gust­ing dele­te­ri­ous sub­stance thereby wrong­fully breach­ing the duty of care owed to the cus­tomer,” said Mr Maz­ibuko.

He said he suf­fered phys­i­cal pain and dis­com­fort af­ter devel­op­ing a stom­ach prob­lem which arose from con­sum­ing the con­tam­i­nated drink.

Mr Maz­ibuko, a mar­tial arts en­thu­si­ast, said he had to can­cel a trip to Harare for a week-long karate sem­i­nar with his over­seas based in­struc­tor to seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

“I am very sen­si­tive about my well be­ing and good health as a mar­tial arts prac­ti­tioner and such sen­si­tiv­ity in­forms my de­ci­sions on what prod­ucts I con­sume. My health was there­fore neg­li­gently and wrong­fully com­pro­mised as a re­sult of con­sum­ing the con­tam­i­nated bev­er­age,” he said.

Mr Maz­ibuko said de­spite de­mand, Broad­way Spar has re­fused or ne­glected to pay the money for the al­leged wrong­ful con­duct.

Broad­way Spar, through its lawyers, Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Part­ners, de­nied neg­li­gence and ar­gued that they were mere re­tail­ers who re­ceived and sold drinks in sealed pack­ag­ing.

“The de­fen­dant is a mere re­tailer who has no spe­cialised or prac­ti­cal means, be it ex­per­tise or ap­pa­ra­tus of find­ing out the con­di­tion and state of the va­ri­ety of prod­ucts which it re­ceived in sealed pack­ag­ing and sold with­out fur­ther in­spec­tion apart from the shelf life,” said the de­fen­dant’s lawyers.

The su­per­mar­ket queried how the quan­ti­fied dam­ages of $25 000 were ar­rived at.

“Even if plain­tiff may have suf­fered dam­ages, which is de­nied, such would not have been to an ex­tent of $25 000. Plain­tiff has failed to quan­tify such dam­ages and is put to proof thereof,” said the Broad­way Spar lawyers.

Mr Nd­abez­inhle Maz­ibuko

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